Delights of Crete (DoC) cluster aims at promoting the Cretan diet and its products while encouraging the respect for the environment and the cultural heritage.
4 local companies, active in the production of flour, olive oil, fruit juices and dairy, generated DoC cluster to exploit various production residues: Mills of Crete, ABEA, BIOHYM and Vero Kritiko.
Even though the island of Crete has a significant agricultural production, raw materials are imported to meet the needs for fuels and animal feed. The objective of DoC was to substitute imported raw materials with locally produced by-products, through the collaboration of the local companies participating in the cluster, for example, Olive Pulp for animal feed and Olive Biomass for fuel were developed from olive oil production residues.
ABEA (www.abea.gr) supplies olive pomace to Mills of Crete (www.mills.gr) where it is processed to Olive Biomass and Olive Pulp for Animal Feed.
Olive Biomass produced by the further processing of the olive pomace, where the wood part is separated from the edible fraction, gives an ecological fuel with high thermal value, low ash and odour. Olive Biomass responds to the demand for cheap and sustainable domestic energy and it can be used for domestic and industrial consumptions.
Minimum financial resources needed, as the exploitation of the existing infrastructure among cluster’s members decreases consumed resources and the need for new investments (new equipment etc.).
Evidence of success
The members of DoC cluster benefit from the production synergies achieved while contributing to the social economy and ecology.
The development of new circular products led (and will continue to lead) new direct and indirect job across the value chain.
Olive Biomass is used to meet DoC internal energy demand: the synergically generated olive biomass is exploited to heat installations and equipment within the cluster’s companies, while the remaining part gets sold.
Potential for learning or transfer
Olive crop is cultivated in numerous areas across Europe, its by-product is thus largely available in different areas of the Old Continent: the potential for transfer of DoC is highly relevant and beneficial to South European rural areas. As of today, Olive-generated-waste is still thrown away without any consideration of the beneficial compounds that it contains. For example, Olive pulp is a by-product of olive pomace oil production, obtained by solvent extraction and destoning of the crude olive oil cake, obtained by extraction of pressed olives. Olive pulp is rich in oleic acid, polyphenols, and vegetable fibers that can be used as animal feed. Adding the oil pulp to the feed increases the level of Oleic Acid and Unsaturated Fatty Acids in animal products (meat, milk, eggs), leading to both a higher-quality and a more healthy consumption.